Despite investing heavily in boosting their goalscoring prowess, Norwich’s pre-season form has so far failed to justify the outlay.
The Canaries endured a dreadful start to the previous campaign and their second half of the season was even worse. They missed out on relegation more through luck than judgement and, as it stands, they’re chalked up as 3/1 to lose their Premier League status when the music stops this term. It’s the shortest price of all the teams who played in the division last time around.
Their biggest problem was, without question, an inability to score goals – only QPR registered fewer – and, after a couple of failed forays into the January transfer market, they’ve attempted to rectify the problem with a couple of big buys during the off-season.
Ricky van Wolfswinkel completed his long-awaited move to Carrow Road from Sporting Lisbon, which is definitely an intriguing signing, along with his Dutch international colleague Leroy Fer. Nathan Redmond arrived from Birmingham to supply their newly-formed frontline too, which is likely to include long-term Canaries target Gary Hooper.
While the latter is obviously yet to kick a ball in yellow and green, his fellow new arrivals are yet to bring about the upturn in attacking fortunes that Chris Hughton hoped they would have done.
Their tour of the USA kicked off with a 3-0 win over Dorados de Sinaloa, though Redmond was the only new member of their attacking arsenal selected to play in this match.
In the two friendlies in which the cavalry have been included, the Canaries were beaten by two MLS outfits – San Jose Earthquakes and Portland Timbers – without registering a single goal.
Results in pre-season are a difficult yard stick in which to measure how a team is going to fare over the course of a nine-month Premier League campaign, but the fact that they’ve failed to trouble either of the scorers in their games with more respectable American outfits – though it must be said, grossly inferior to the calibre of defence Norwich will be up against next season – has to be a slight concern.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date